Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Red Pumps & Rubbers

Photo Credit: duygu
He can't rock my boat without a life jacket. Or ride in my Benz and not wear a seat belt. He definitely can't drive my luxury car without a license and insurance. I won't accept his gift unwrapped. He's not allowed entry into this country without a passport. And he can't eat dessert without a napkin. You feel me?  No condom. No lovin'!

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). is participating in the Red Pump Project, which is raising awareness about the disease with over 1,000 bloggers. Women all over the country are rocking red pumps in this campaign. I don't have red pumps but if I did, the picture above would be on my feet.  I'm not going to get too deep into the stats because we know they're dire. According to stats posted on the Red Pump Projects site, "women still represent 27% of all new AIDS diagnoses, with African-American women accounting for 66% of that group." And every 35 minutes a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States. I don't know if this is an issue of education or loyalty to the church, self-esteem or all of the above and more. I lost an uncle to AIDS so my family and I know first-hand this disease is real. But I want to encourage women reading this to put yourself first. Put your body first and think about it. I love good sex just like anyone else, but ain't no wee-wee better than my life. NO MAN is worth more than my life.   Here are a few things on my heart I want you to keep in mind (brace yourself because I'm going to keep it real):

    Photo Cred: Holly Williams
  • Talk to your daughters about sex. Break out the sex ed books and show pictures. Be forward and open to her questions. Talking to her about sex is not going to make her have sex. Trust me. She has hormones and is going to screw one day.  Would you rather she learn about sex from you or the guy who's been checking her out in homeroom? If you don't know what to say to refer to parenting books or your doctor. My mother and aunts were very honest about sex and I think that's one of the reasons why I wasn't sexually active until my 20s.
  • Carrying condoms does not make you a hoe. That shows you care about your body.
  • If he doesn't want to use protection you better re-think letting him rock the boat. Think about it. There's a possibility he's had unprotected sex with his ex-girlfriend in his dorm building, the woman he dated who works at the bank, that girl he told you he had one-stand with the one time in his life he had a one-night stand, and whomever else.  Which also means if any of those women had an STD, then he contracted it and could pass it on to...
  • When he says condoms are uncomfortable or don't feel good, think about how good you would feel if you tested positive. Or, if you contracted some other disease from him so he can feel "good."
  • For those of you into church I love the Lord but I'm also a realist. If premarital-sex is a sin but you're falling weak to abstinence, I'd rather you "sin" and be safe with a condom, then "sin" and be sorry. The church needs to step on this issue but that's another post.
  • If you suspect your man is cheating on you with another woman or man, consider closing up shop down there. I don't want to be lonely either, but I'd rather be alone than have him and an STD.
  • Go the OBGYN for regular checkups.
  • Get Tested.
I wish everyone reading this happy, healthy, fun SAFE sex. For Red Pump gatherings near you go here.


  1. It's an old adage , and it might seem 'corny', but "it is better to be safe than sorry."

  2. Sorry for making my previous comment anonymous. But I reiterate, a lifetime of suffering is not worth a few minutes/hours of physical sexual elation. It is not easy to act with reason when confronted with passion. But, keep in mind that your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your loved ones (especially if you have children)depend on you making wise decisions.

  3. I agree totally Mr. Brewer! Thanks for your comment. People need to be more careful when hooking up. And they have to keep in mind the future for the offspring they may produce when choosing mates.

  4. Wearing this on while doing the act is , as you said, like driving without insurance. That, truly, is necessary, and a lot of people should conform to that practice.

  5. Thanks for writing such nice blog. Keep writing such informative posts.

  6. There are more Wholesale Pumps but I can't seem to find them. No pumps stands which I'm really upset.


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